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John Austin Cheley Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Camps, Children & Youth, Education, Sports, Student Services, Youth Development

Mission: The John Austin Cheley Foundation, established in 1989, honors the memory of John Austin (Jack) Cheley and helps to fulfill his dream of making a residential summer camp experience available to under-served youth who could not otherwise afford a camp experience. The Foundation''s purpose is to secure, by financial or other means, the benefits of a wilderness summer camp experience for children whose family''s personal resources are not adequate to cover the cost of tuition and transportation. Partial or full camperships are awarded.

Results: Over 1000 children served Summer 2016: - 96 full camperships awarded

Target demographics: under-served children overcome the obstacles to a high-impact residential summer camp experience

Direct beneficiaries per year: 100 children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 16

Geographic areas served: multiple states across the country

Programs: The John Austin Cheley Foundation funds need-based camperships for high potential youth to attend extended-stay wilderness summer camps that have a proven track record of positively impacting youth development.

Community Stories

41 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

The John Austin Cheley Foundation has been a remarkable organization that has, without a doubt, played a significant role in my son’s quality of life and in reinforcing strong values and instilling a sense of self-confidence and independence as he grows into his teens. The services proved by the Cheley Foundation have provided him the opportunity to discover more about others as well as himself within the natural setting of camp, and with exceptional leaders, administrators, and counselors. The Cheley Foundation also provided me help along the way too, with the application process, with smoothly working out modifications to the schedule in order to support a last-minute medical situation, with answering questions whenever I had them, and also having timely and consistent email updates and information all along the way - from the initial application submission to preparation and even packing for camp! It’s because of the John Austin Cheley Foundation that my son’s life has been impacted in ways I know will last his lifetime. With the camp experience, he was given the opportunity for things like meeting new people from all over the country, discovering new activities he loves to do that he wouldn’t have the chance to otherwise -- like how much fun it is to camp under the stars… cooking his own meal over a campfire… discovering he loves to do carpentry and wheel pottery... taking the canoe out on the lake when it's late in the day and the water is calm…. realizing the pride he feels when he sweeps up the cabin or makes his bed or helps another camper out... learning he's not afraid of horses after all, even wondering if someday, he would make a good counselor, just like his own counselor was. Because of Cheley, my son’s life is richer, with experiences that will help guide him as he grows through his teen years into a young man. Sincere thanks to an organization that has impacted our lives in a beautiful way. - Sandy Banker (for David)

Donor

Rating: 5

Adopt-a-Camper program allows one to ensure the funding for a camp experience for five years. Offering the hope in providing a multi-year experience has been exquisitely rewarding. The life-changing impact of a multi-year wilderness experience is shared with the donor as the donor receives a "letter from camp" and feels intimately involved with the delight and growth that only a camp experience can provide. The John Austin Cheley Foundation selects incredibly wonderful kids who would not otherwise be able to afford the summer camp experience. Not only do the campers benefit from being unplugged and challenged in the wild, but so do the affiliate camps, and the communities to which the child returns. "My" camper was offered a leadership position in the camp he attends, validating what I believed: that this camper gave as much to the camp as he, in turn, received.

The John Austin Cheley Foundation is a tremendously inspirational nonprofit, with a very dedicated and caring board and staff. I cannot think of a better organization to support, and I hope that you will join me as I continue to contribute to the John Austin Cheley Foundation.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a board member of a nonprofit camp associated with the Cheley Foundation, I give them my highest rating. For one thing, having Cheley Foundation campers attend our camp very importantly adds diversity of background. In this way it is a great benefit not only to the Cheley campers but to all who attend our camp. I think more importantly, the campers sponsored by Cheley are great kids! Cheley does a wonderful job in their selection process. We have been an affiliated camp for several years now. We are very pleased with what they and we together have done. We are proud to have been chosen by Cheley as a participating camp and we are glad to be a part of what they offer.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to be a member of The John Austin Cheley Foundation’s (JACF) Board of trustees. Our staff, our volunteers, our board and our campers’ parents form an amazing and committed group of dedicated folks working to help send terrific kids to life-changing, wilderness-based, adventure summer camps all over the nation. These are highly motivated kids who would not be able to swing the “camp experience”, financially, but who get to attend because of JACF. As a result of attending camp, they report back to us with tales of increased confidence, grit and independence — as well as heartfelt stories filled with laughter, love, vulnerability and friendships that will last a lifetime. JACF funds these kids for as many years as they are able to attend summer camp, building on the personal growth and bonds of friendship with each summer of fun and adventure. We believe that these fantastic kids — along with their supportive families and some help from The John Austin Cheley Foundation — will change lives and strive for amazing goals… because their lives have been permanently changed by the wonders and challenges of the camp experience. Camp changes lives… and the John Austin Cheley Foundation makes camp possible for terrific kids.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The John Austin Cheley Foundation sends us boys each year to attend Camp Kawanhee. We are very impressed with the character of the boys they have sent to us and the success of them in assimilating into the Kawanhee environment. This speaks to the very thorough and meticulous process followed in selecting the boys and in matching them to our program. The staff at the Foundation are caring, extremely competent and organized. They take their work very seriously and believe in the mission of the organization and this is evident in every thing they do. Extremely well run organization!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The John Austin Cheley Foundation sends underserved youth to wilderness-based summer camps to give them access to experiences they would otherwise be unable to have that offer them the opportunity to grow, learn leadership skills, form friendships, and develop resiliency and confidence. The Foundation works with a network of camps and community organizations to form meaningful mentoring relationships for the campers it serves. By maximizing all of its resources, the Foundation is very efficient in the use of its funds, its staff time and its volunteers.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The John Austin Cheley Foundation has a clear purpose and mission, and works efficiently and passionately in its unique space to change the lives of individual children. It works with community-based you organizations to identify highly-motivated, under-privileged kids to send them to extended-stay wilderness summer camps, a life-changing experience for all children. The Foundation promises to fund these summer experiences for every single summer the young person is interested in participating, allowing each young person to form lasting friendships and bonds that will carry over a lifetime.

At bottom, the Foundation changes lives. It directly and permanently improves the life of every single kid that participates. Not many organizations can claim such a direct and profound impact!

1 Todd N. L.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a donor to the JACF for nearly a decade, I've seen the changes to kids lives that a dedicated group of volunteers can make when they focus on long-term impact. It's not just the kids the camperships impact, but the families and surrounding communities. Extended stay summer camps are a fantastic learning environment for today's kids that need time away from technology and everyday stresses. I'll remain a donor because kids matter and camp delivers!

Board Member

Rating: 5

The John Austin Cheley Foundation supports youth development in an extremely unique and effective manner. They are changing the lives of children by sending them to high powered, impactful summer camp programs across the United States. Their reach into all corners of the country proves that this organization is making a real difference for so many people. I'm really proud to be a part of such a wonderful organization!

Please join me in supporting the John Austin Cheley Foundation!
John Boylan
Chairman

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As our planet and society confront the rising environmental crises, no action is more powerful than developing the future generations relationships to nature. We are in the midst of the largest transformation to urban culture ever in the human race. JACF helps lower the walls between our kids and nature to get us all in touch with what is most important to create a sustainable future together.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The John Austin Cheley Foundation makes it possible for kids to go to wilderness based summer camps. I've heard the testimonials of campers - They love it and state it's been life changing. Some outcomes include increased confidence, increased appreciation of the out-of-doors and exposure to leadership opportunities. We've noticed that the campers and alumni go on to continue to push themselves out of their "comfort zone". So important!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Cheley Foundation sent 91 deserving kids to summer camp this year! They do an outstanding job of identifying kids that would greatly benefit from a residential camp experience. Top notch organization.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The John Austin Cheley Foundation (JACF) is a highly impactful organization that changes kids' lives through transformational summer camp experiences. Their dedicated staff and board of trustees are professional, experienced, and committed to the mission and vision of the organization and the wonderful kids and families they serve. JACF is an inspiring non-profit organization that is truly making a difference!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a former teacher and have worked in summer camps for over half of my life. When I joined the John Austin Cheley Foundation, I found that I could provide the volunteer skills needed to help recruit qualified young people to attend summer camp for free. We managed to increase the number of young people the Cheley Foundation sent to camp from 25 to 100 while I was on the Board. And the growth and personal development I witnessed from these young adults was simply astounding. Not even one of my classroom students showed as much growth and personal development as those young people who attended the summer programs which the Cheley Foundation endorses. I truly believe every child should attend a three to four week overnight camp. And the Cheley Foundation provides the safest, most secure, summer enrichment programs that you can find almost anywhere in the United States.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Cheley Foundation changes lives by making it possible for inner-city children to spend time in the natural world. Summer camp gives kids the opportunity to challenge themselves and to explore who they will become in a safe and exciting environment. The Cheley Foundation which, so generously, gives camp scholarships has allowed several children I work with to burst out of their teenage selves and develop into fantastic people with a new found respect for themselves, those around them, and the beauty of the world we live in. There is magic in play and through the dedication of those at the Cheley Foundation, deserving kids are finding out there are no limits to just where that magic will take them.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been able to experience so many wonderful, fun, and exciting things that he would normally never have had the opportunity to do otherwise. The John Austin Cheley Foundation has graciously and selflessly offered my son an opportunity of a lifetime by providing him with a JACF camper scholarship! He has been able to perfect his sailing skills and more, learning from some great loving leaders who really care about his success and growth. I can not say enough about the John Austin Cheley Foundation! I am forever thankful to the John Austin Cheley Foundation from the bottom of my heart for making his dreams come true. He has made many good friends and shared memorable experiences together which will last his lifetime. My son has become more fearless, more confident, and more daring thanks to the John Austin Cheley Foundation's gift. My son has been blessed to also experience quiet and peaceful time in nature and on water, camping for three wonderful weeks, away from the big-city life and noise. Thank you so much John Austin Cheley Foundation for all that you do in making dreams of a lifetime come true for not only my son, but for all children who normally would not have this opportunity otherwise!! My son comes home very happy and sharing with me so many great stories and experiences. He also does not have time to miss me while he is away because he is too busy learning, growing, and helping others. You are wonderful people at JACF . In all that you do, John Austin Cheley's legacy lives on through the empowerment of our youth and his positive outlook on the future of our young people. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! John Austin Cheley Foundation, WE LOVE YOU!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The JACF has been a great investor of my daughter's future. They have supported her dream to attend summer camp in SW Colorado for the last two years. She has grown immensely in her confidence and independence. Attending camp would not have been possible without the generous gift the Foundation provided to us. My daughter loves camp so much that even after a month she wants to stay on! She talks about wanting to become a counselor there as soon as she is old enough and this to me is the biggest praise of all. The JACF provides children an opportunity to interact and enjoy nature in a safe environment, at the same time teaching them valuable lessons about life, relationships, communication, leadership, and group effort. I highly recommend this organization as a great investment into our children's futures. Thank you JACF and all future donors!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The John Austin Cheley Foundation provided my son with an opportunity of a life time. Summer Camp at Cheley Colorado Camp. The staff at camp, the experience as a whole, changed my child's life for the better.

The Foundation was there to help answer questions every step of the way, from the application process, to transportation, packing, everything.

These are wonderful people doing wonderful work, and I will be grateful to them for what they have provided to my son.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The John Austin Cheley Foundation has provided an opportunity for my son that he would never have dreamed of otherwise. By providing a scholarship, Alex has been able to attend the Big Springs Summer Camp for boys for the past three summers, and looks forward to attending again next summer. While at camp Alex has been unplugged from all his tech devices while being plugged into nature. He has learned leadership skills, social skills, and the fellowship of young men. He has hiked 14,000 foot peaks, learned to rock climb and paddle board, foraged for food, and studied the stars. The memories and skills he has gained with be with him for the rest of his life, and for this we are most grateful.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has received a camper-ship from the John Austin Cheley Foundation to attend Colvig Silver Camps. This has been the best experience for her and would not have been possible without the help of this foundation. She has become a well rounded, solid teenager, ready to tackle new experience and has developed a new appreciation for nature and the world around her. THANKS!!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an amazing organization this is! The John Austin Cheley Foundation gives children from low income families a chance to experience a wilderness summer camp.
The staff is fantastic! They were always quick to respond and help with any questions we had. They truly love and care about children and the effect that camp has on their lives.
It has been a pleasure to work the foundation and I hope to be able to continue as a mentor in the future. This foundation has bought so much happiness into my life.